Toronto - I am writing to express concern over recent comments attributed to the Honourable Irwin Cotler urging provinces to allow public officials who are licensed to perform marriage ceremonies to refuse to perform this service for same-sex couples. As you know, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) intervened in the Same Sex Marriage Reference before the Supreme Court of Canada to protect the right of gay and lesbian Canadians to get married. In this regard, the Commission agreed with the Attorney General of Canada’s position that requiring a religious official to perform a marriage ceremony that does not accord with his or her religious beliefs about marriage would violate section 2(a) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”).
Toronto - On February 24, a Board of Inquiry ordered Imaging Excellence, a printing company, and its owner, Scott Brockie, to provide printing services to gays and lesbians and their organizations and awarded damages of $5000 in total payable to Ray Brillinger and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, a customer of Imaging Excellence. In its earlier decision released on September 29th, 1999, the Board determined that Imaging Excellence and Mr. Brockie discriminated against Mr. Brillinger when it refused to provide printing services to the Archives.
Toronto - The Ontario Human Rights Commission released today its Policy on Discrimination and Harassment because of Sexual Orientation. The policy outlines protections offered to all Ontarians on the ground of sexual orientation and same-sex partnership status.